Mark Turcotte
September 2013

Back when I used to be Indian
I am reaching toward the light
with both fists, yawning,
growling like a flower.
Mother pushes me, gasping.
Mother pushes me again.
I swim out from muffled
cradle, dripping blood,
salt of the very first
flood, first wound, I uncurl
upon the island shore.
I breathe.
Mother pulls me, gasping.
Mother pulls me again
to her weeping breast. I drink
and begin, with one shaky eye
to search for my father.
The room rattles with empty.
In the hallway hoofbeats fade.
Millions cry in my veins.

“Continue” was originally published in Mark Turcotte's Exploding Chippewas (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2002).

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